On the Apple App Store, you can search for most of the apps that are available on the platform. The company has recently announced that it will also support unlisted apps. These are apps that don’t appear via search queries, categories or recommendations, and you’ll need a direct link to access them.
If you’re familiar with the idea of unlisted videos on YouTube, then you’re familiar with this. The idea behind its implementation is also similar – apps that aren’t meant for public distribution, but instead are used for, among other scenarios, specific organisations or events, and even research studies.
Unlisted apps sounds like it could be neat, but it looks like it has some big caveats. Also doesn’t seem like my Individual developer account is authorized to request an unlisted link. Business-only?
“Note: Once your app is approved, the distribution method cannot be changed.” https://t.co/o34hB1v8VR
— Steve Troughton-Smith (@stroughtonsmith) January 28, 2022
For a developer to put up an unlisted app, they will have to submit a request form to Apple. This applies to new and even existing apps. Though there seems to be some other caveats to being able to request an unlisted link. Twitter user Steve Troughton-Smith notes that his individual developer account can’t apply for one.
Apps that were previously approved for private downloads via the Apple Business Manager or School Manager will also have to go through some extra steps. This includes creating a new app record, and set the distribution method of the new one to public.